The Positive Impact of Good Nurse Leaders in Healthcare

In the majority of work environments, strong leadership is often a precursor to success. Strong, solid leadership is especially important in a work environment where professionals are working under high levels of pressure and often face the need to make the right decisions quickly. Nursing is most certainly a career that fits into the high-pressure, quick-thinking category, and within the field of nursing, good leadership is crucial for making sure that teams of nurses and other healthcare professionals can effectively work together to provide patients with the best care quality and standards.

A good nurse leader is not only an essential component of a team that is coordinated and managed well, but they will also often act as strong advocates for their patients, improving patient care and influencing future healthcare policies and procedures. Here are just some of the main reasons why good nurse leaders are so important in healthcare today.

Promoting Success

A nurse leader who is effective in the role that they do will be somebody skilled at creating and promoting an environment where teams of healthcare professionals can work together well with enthusiasm and passion for their work. A good nurse leader will set a stellar example when it comes to continuous improvement and never being satisfied with anything that is less than 100% when it comes to working as a nurse. Nurse leaders are there to hold nursing professionals accountable and provide them with everything that they need to meet and exceed the job expectations while conducting themselves in a professional manner. A good nurse leader promotes success with clear communication skills and the ability to provide honest feedback that is delivered in a way that helps their team improve their performance. If this sounds like a role you might be interested in, check out the nursing leadership courses available from Baylor University.

Facilitating Positive Growth

An effective, strong nurse leader will be somebody who has the confidence to reflect and analyze their work to constantly find new ways that they and their teams can improve on what they do. If the performance of the team falls even slightly below the acceptable standards, a good nurse leader is somebody who can take an analytical approach to figuring out what went wrong and what can be improved in the future to ensure that the problem is not repeated.  Nurse leaders need to be highly observant professionals when it comes to identifying issues and potential issues within their workplace and putting together strategies and solutions to overcome them and make positive changes to healthcare professional performance and patient care standards.

Promote Teamwork

Solid leadership in nursing is absolutely essential to make sure that registered nurses and other healthcare professionals have all the resources that they need to function well together as a team and get the best outcomes for their patients. Nurses in any position, but particularly those who are working in leadership, need excellent interpersonal skills to be as effective and successful as possible when it comes to the work that they do. Whether they’re communicating with other nurses, physicians, other healthcare professionals, or their patients, a good nurse leader is somebody with excellent communication and active listening skills. By helping teams communicate better with one another, nurse leaders can promote better patient care by making it easier for healthcare professionals to collaborate.

Skills You Need to Succeed as a Nurse Leader

Nurse leadership is a role that takes nurses away from the patient bedside and into a more managerial and administrative role where they are overseeing other healthcare professionals and promoting the continuous improvement of patient care. Along with all the main skills that you have developed in your career as a registered nurse, it’s important to develop further skills while working as a nurse leader to succeed in this role. Some of the most important skills for a nurse leader to develop include:

· Collaboration

Along with leading teams, a nurse leader should also be somebody who can work well as a part of a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals. Nurse leaders will typically be part of a managerial team along with managing teams of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals who work directly with patients. Excellent collaboration skills are just one of the ways that a good nurse leader will lead by example and encourage team members to also get better at collaborating with each other.

· Communication

As mentioned, communication skills are absolutely essential to your success in the role of a nurse leader or manager. Communication skills are something that is required for nurses at every level and in a more advanced role such as nurse management and leadership it is often more vital for nurses to be able to effectively get their point across and make sure that they are understood. The ability to not only clearly communicate with others but also employ active listening skills in all of your interactions to ensure that you understand what is being communicated to you is crucial in this role, along with a keen awareness and understanding of non-verbal communication.

· Negotiation

Nurse leaders will often find themselves in positions where they need to employ good negotiation skills. One of the responsibilities of a nurse leader will be conflict management, and the ability to negotiate well is often required when in this situation. In patient-centered care, nurses may find themselves negotiating with patients to reach a compromise on the type of after-care that they receive if there are options to choose from, or a negotiation situation might come up with colleagues in various situations. For nurse leaders, negotiation can often come into play when discussing healthcare policy, hiring, and other key decisions that are ultimately going to impact patient care and outcomes. In healthcare, being a good negotiator requires applying various key nursing skills including self-awareness and empathy.

Aiming for a career as a nurse leader is an ideal choice for nurses who enjoy management and taking on more responsibility. Nurse leaders are becoming increasingly essential to healthcare and can have a highly positive impact on patient outcomes.

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